What is Dying ?

This is not written out of some morbid fascination, but as a dedication to a dear friend, who may find some comfort within. 

My Dad
My Dad
There appeared to be hands comforting the crucifix statue
There appeared to be hands comforting the crucifix statue

7th of November, the day before my birthday, I opened a parcel from my parents, it contained a little statuette of the 'Goddess of Love' and a note , wishing me a Happy Birthday and telling me that my father had chosen it and my mother had had no say.  I laughed to myself, and put off phoning caus he would only tell me off for ringing during the day,  "too expensive, ring in the evening"

After lunch , about 1 pm, I received a phone call , telling me that my Dad had died.  I wished I had phoned, but things happen for a reason, maybe if I had I would have .... oh I dont know.

We travelled to Ireland to be with my mother and to pay last respects at his funeral.  Me being me , I wanted to see before hand where he was going to be interred, and so walked to the cemetery. Upon entering , I looked at the crusifix statue and the Yew trees, and there, I saw that the trees had grown to resemble hands comforting the cross and all the other souls within the cemetery.

I went back to get my drawing pad and pencils , and drew . 

Returning, to the cemetery, on a number of occassions , I have never seen those hands again, my drawing has circulated the village, and I have been told that many people have it framed upon their walls.

No Regrets

Maybe, life is too short, but personally I think that if we live it too the full and leave this world a happier place , life is complete.

Following the funeral , I wrote a poem, not too long, just six lines and one stanza -


No Tears have I shed

For my Dad, now dead

No regrets do I have

For the lives we have led

He lives within me, young Mark too

We are always together, as the Morning Dew.

Perhaps this may seem a little harsh, it was written  3 weeks after he had died, and I really couldnt cry.

My Grandfather, Frank
My Grandfather, Frank
  • My Grandfather Frank , he joined the rank
  • at the age of 82
  • And here he was , reminding me
  • That all is well and fine
  • I cried and tried to hold him close
  • "Not to be" he said and chose
  • to run, he ran, I ran
  • Up the stairs he ran so fast
  • I could not catch him
  • He turned and waved, a smile upon his face
  • I smiled , I waved , I cried.

I had this dream, not long after he died, it comforted me, I think about him every day.

Do not stand at my grave and weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep

This poem was written by an unknown author. It was found in an envelope left by a soldier, killed in 1989.  The poem was read aloud by his father on Remembrance Sunday, 1995, and evoked a huge and warm response -

  • Do not stand at my grave and weep
  • I am not there.
  • I do not sleep.
  • I am a thousand winds that blow
  • I am the diamond glints on snow.
  • I am the sunlight on ripened grain
  • I am the gentle autumn rain.
  • When you awaken in the morning's hush,
  • I am the swift uplifting rush
  • Of quiet birds in circled flight.
  • I am the soft stars that shine at night.
  • Do not stand at my grave and cry,
  • I am not there;
  • I did not die.

setting sail
setting sail
on the horizon
on the horizon
entering port
entering port

What is Dying ?

My mother received a well wisher card, not long after my father passed, she had the words photo copied and sent me a copy,  I found it to be a beautiful anology and one that I will always recall.

As my grandfather lived by the sea and my father was a lover of the sea, it is to me just perfect ;

Written by Bishop Brent -

What is Dying?

A ship sails and I stand watching til she fades on the horizon, and someone at my side says,

"She's gone",

"Gone Where?"      "Gone from my sight, that is all, She is just as large as when I saw her ... The diminished size and total loss of sight is in me, not in her,

and just at the moment when someone at my side says; "She is gone",

There are others who are watching her coming, and other voices take up a glad shout, "There she comes,!" ...

And , that is dying.

fur Elise

To conclude -

I do so help that this has helped you , my friend. Life is short, we need to live each day and to have no regrets.  I know this is your favourite piece of music , and have included it , for your enjoyment.

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Comments 51 comments

Tamarii2 profile image

Tamarii2 7 years ago from NEW YORK

Enjoyed reading.Our loved ones always live in our heart.>PEACE.


pgrundy 7 years ago

This made me cry, it's very beautiful. I think of death a lot these days. I'm the same age my mother was when she died and both of my parents died fairly young--my dad in his early 40s, my Mom in her late 50s. I'm 56. I had a troubled relationship with both of them. The whole family seemed unhappy to the point of being cursed in some way, so their untimely deaths and the resulting changes in my own life were actually positive. It doesn't make their deaths easier though--if anything it's harder when someone close to you dies and things aren't good. It's the end of any chance for it to change. I really did find comfort in this piece you wrote here. I really thank you, I don't find that much when it comes to death.


I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s profile image

I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s 7 years ago

This is sooo beautiful, Hawkesdream! We are ever-flowing and rebirthing! :)


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Thank you to you all for your comments, I am so pleased that you enjoyed it and are able to take comfort from it.

I thank you again.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 7 years ago from UK

I like the bit about the ship. Both my parents have passed over, but I often have a sense of their presence about me.


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Amanda, I think they are always with us, sometimes , I feel that we dont leave space in our lives, to really notice.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 7 years ago from Australia

Hawkesdream , this is a beautiful Hub and I love your sketch of the trees and the crucifix.

I bet you hold that statuette very dear to your heart.

And I hope your friend can get a chance to read this, I,m sure it will help.


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Thanks Agvulpes, so glad you like it, and yes the statuette is in my glass cabinet, pride of place.


Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

Beautifully said. Your father I think would have loved this tribute. I hope your mother is able to read it.


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Thanks duchess, I am sure she will, will have to post it to her. Thanks for reading


Nanny J.O.A.T. profile image

Nanny J.O.A.T. 7 years ago from Somewhere over the rainbow

A lovely tribute and something that I think we can all relate to - your father would be proud of you I think!


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Hi Nanny, yes I think most can relate, I take comfort in knowing how much I meant to my dad, and he to me.


Iphigenia 7 years ago

Hi Ali - a very thoughtful and gentle hub - I love your drawing and the poem 'Do not stand at my grave and weep' was sent to me by a friend when my father died in 1993, my friend said it was by an American woman called Mary Frye.

The poem that comforted my mother after dad died - and still does all these years later is "Remember" by Christina Rossetti : -

"Remember me when I am gone away,

Gone far away into the silent land;

When you can no more hold me by the hand,

Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more day by day

You tell me of our future that you plann'd:

Only remember me; you understand

It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a while

And afterwards remember, do not grieve:

For if the darkness and corruption leave

A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

Better by far you should forget and smile

Than that you should remember and be sad."

Children sometimes get it so right - my daughter was 9 when dad died, we talked about him and death and dying over the course of two or three weeks. I eventually asked her if she understood what had happened to her grandad and she said "Yes, he'd lived all of his life and now we miss him."


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Hi Iphy, out of the mouths of babes, they say, and it is so true.

That is a beautiful poem, the last two lines convey it all.

Thanks for popping by.


Candie V profile image

Candie V 7 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

Hawkes - What a gift to share with us, with me.. your beloved dad. This made me cry. That we should, could impact others so profoundly. You have done this in my life and I'm blessed to call you my friend.


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Candie, you are sooo welcome, think the world of you, my friend.


Silver Freak profile image

Silver Freak 7 years ago from The state of confusion

Hawkes, thank you so much for sharing this with us. It's beautiful!


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Hi Silver, glad you dropped by, always a pleasure.


Jess Killmenow profile image

Jess Killmenow 7 years ago from Nowheresville, Eastern United States

This is a beautiful article. The personal touch makes it so much more meaningful.


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Thanks Jess for reading and commenting, greatly appreciated


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Hi Art, so pleased you came to call, missed ya, x


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

A loving tribute to Dad. And Fur Elise—how wonderful is that piece of music? It fits with your beautiful poetry. Thanks for sharing.


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Thank you James, your visits are really appreciated, and yes Fur Elise is a great piece of music.


Haunty profile image

Haunty 7 years ago from Hungary

Thank you, Alison. I could not read this and the comments all at once. I don't know why, but I don't find comfort in anything. Death saddens me so much. Maybe it would be easier if I changed my beliefs, but it's not easy.


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

There are only two sure things in life, Haunty, Death and Taxes, both of which are unavoidable. For me I accepted both and rather than fear them embrace them. Death as a finality and that my memory will go on and that somewhere I may have helped someone on the way, and taxes, well the more I pay, the more I am earning, thats gotta be good.

Thanks for reading, do come back soon.


ralwus 7 years ago

Dear this is a wonderful story and you drawing is spectacular. I do hope whomever you intended to see this has or will and I'm sure it will touch them as it has me. thanks dear. Fur Elise is one of my favs too. Oh, and great pictures too.


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Thanks Charlie, for coming by, glad you liked it and yes they have seen it, think it helped them, though sadness is very difficult to relieve, just tried to give another viewpoint.

you liked my drawing then, ??


Haunty profile image

Haunty 7 years ago from Hungary

I didn't pay enough attention to the drawing earlier because of the emotions the hub evoked, but it's amazing. Well Done!

I read everything the first time. What I meant was I could not do it at one sit because of the overwhelming associations.

Thanks. I hope you are good!


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Thanks Haunty, tis great to see you, we do have some real good chats don't we.

I am fine and I hope that you are too..great avatar by the way.


ralwus 7 years ago

Yes Ali, I like the drawing. You seem to have captured the moment well. Sadness can last for looong time with the passing of a dear one. I still am saddened by my brothers sudden death 7 years past now. I miss him terribly. Today is his birthday too. Your grandpa was a handsome fellow.


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Oh ralwus, so sorry to hear about brother, and i know he knows how you feel.

Thankyou for mentioning my grandpa, he was very dear to me, my best friend. Thanks.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

Alison, I did not know that you were an artist; the drawing is lovely. The death of a parent is so so hard. I had to wait to type this because I was crying. Of course, it reminded me of the death of my own dear Daddy, 11 years ago.

Death is so hard for us to understand. I felt so cheated. I kept some of his shirts to wear. I almost forgot his voice. You wind up thinking that the only thing left is the love. That works.


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Dolores, thank you so much for reading. Glad you liked my drawing. Sorry it made you cry, I kept one of my Dads jumpers and wear it occasionally just to feel close.

Just before we left , I had deleted the answer machine, there was only one message and that was from my Dad. Think it was a good thing in a way.


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Thanks for the hug, Art, much appreciated.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

Alison, don't be sorry you made me cry. It was a compliment. When you can write something that makes the reader cry, you are doing it right!


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Thank you Dolores, I had never looked at it that way before. Again I thank you.


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

Guess what? Art............Snap !!! , have a great weekend too my friend.


awsydney profile image

awsydney 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Great analogy about dying. It kinda takes the pain away a little doesnt it? I draw comfort to know that others think that we are not really gone after we pass away. Our soul lives on and that is reason enough to keep living life to the fullest each day. Thanks for creating such a beautiful hub.


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

awsydney, thanks for reading, so pleased that it helps


jacobkuttyta profile image

jacobkuttyta 7 years ago from Delhi, India

Really a touching hub.

Thanks


RKHenry profile image

RKHenry 7 years ago from Your neighborhood museum

Your grandfather Frank's poem, made me feel like I was there. Very well written stuff. Very well written. Excellent.


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall Author

jacobkuttya and RKHenry, Thank you so much for reading, I do so appreciate your time in commenting.


Greenheart profile image

Greenheart 6 years ago from Cambridge

Hi Hawkesdream.

What a beautiful hub and a most beautiful poem by the soldier.

Dying is never the end of anything.Living is not what we think it to be.We live in eternal mystery....

x


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America

A lovely tribute and depth of meaningful love that does not go away. Your drawing was unique...The music in the videos was marvelous and haunting...


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 6 years ago from India

This is lovely, especially the ship story...so comforting to know that someone, somewhere is watching out for us.


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 6 years ago from Cornwall Author

Sorry frogyfish, I didnt get notified for some unknown reason. Thanks so much for reading and leaving your comment.

Feline, my furry friend, it is comforting, and I am sure that that is the way it is, too.


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 6 years ago from Cornwall Author

Greenheart, my apologies, I missed you too.

Thank you so much for your kind words.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 5 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

This is beautiful! What is dying is hanging on our wall since mom's passing. Thank you for also being by my side. God bless you and I have marked this hub so that I could reference your words.


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 5 years ago from Cornwall Author

Thank you AE, for coming by and reading. I hope it helped even a little. How are you doing? Things do get a little easier, but they never leave you.

Thinking of you and God Bless you and yours at this time.


Talisker profile image

Talisker 4 years ago from UK

I liked this hub. I lost my brother in a motorbike accident. He was only 24.

I speak to a lot of people who have lost loved ones.

It is so very common, yet it still hits each person like a great thump in the stomach.


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 4 years ago from Cornwall Author

Talisker,I am so sorry to hear about your brother, I hope that as time goes on it will become easier for you. Thank you for reading and commenting.

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